knife drill/ warrior folk dance

Brian King

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One of our students described a knife drill that we did in one class to his wife. The drill was a simple outline drill where you take a live blade and trace around your training partner outlining them and flashing the blade in front of their eyes and other sensitive areas. This drill helps both partners lose their fear of blades and develop edge and distance sensitivity. Many in Systema will have had the opportunity to experience this drill or a varient. Well, the students wife who is Turkish went to You tube and found a clip of a of a Turkish warrior folk dance. I thought it interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP6KoDKoClI


Warmest regards
Brian King
 

Franc0

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Hey Brian,
Gotta admit, those kids didn't flinch when their knives were flying around their faces, neat clip.
The drill you described sounds cool, think I'll give it try and see how it goes.

Franco
 
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Brian King

Brian King

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Hey MF
You and your students already know that most Systema drills work on many levels and the one above and those below are the same. I know that you and your guys are good to go so I am writing the following descriptions for others than you that may be reading this post. If working with professionals the outlining should also include thrusts with intent toward their face, neck, groin and heart and along their spine. The thrust should be with intent and the thrusts should be stacked (for others reading stacking is when you repeat the movement multiple times for this drill deliberately thrusting with intent at the face not once but six or ten times forcing both to learn how to cope with the tension stacking up with each additional thrust. This drill can be also become a sensitivity drill by blindfolding the person before tracing their body and before thrusting at different points of their body. The blindfolded partner should be allowed to flinch a little (think how a horse ripples to dislodge flies) but they should not move too much less they move into a thrust. Knives that have an extreme point (such as those old WW2 bayonets with the metal scabbards) seem to work the best for this kind of drill, the more extreme the point the more extreme the reaction to thrusts, blindfolded or not. Point out (pun intended) to the students the tip and how death is found on that tip.

Follow up drills that can also be explored
I like to have the students focus on remembering the feeling of the stacking thrusts. How the nervous system becomes excited. Then have the students do knife drills with takedowns or whatever but they should explore the ability to recreate and harness the feelings from the stacking drill while limiting the excitement but using it to start the movement and breathing.

Another drill that forces calmness and deliberateness is to take a blade that has a sharp edge and have one student hold the blade (blade forward type of grip at first especially for those students that are newer) and have another student loosely grip the blade making sure that the sharp edge of the blade has contact with their palm. Then like a dance the partner holding the knife by the handle leads and starts walking. If you know dancing then you know that hesitation from the lead makes a clumsy dance for both dancers, this is also true in this drill. The person holding the blade handle walks and it is the responsibility of the partner holding the blade by the edge to keep up. Too much tension clouds the sensitivity of the edge holder making it much more difficult to move with the blade. As the partners get used to their roles in the drill have the walkers switch directions while walking and to change levels and to even now and then sprint. Both partners should be encouraged to change hands at their discretion to learn to work with either hand and to maintain comfortable contact with the blade (if the body gets twisted up simple changing hands often frees it up and allows a person to recover good posture)

If the partners get comfortable with this drill then they can move onto the same drill but instead of only a palm making contact with the edge of the blade, the edge and/or point of the blade is now placed against different points of the body (including face and neck) and again the dance is explored sometimes blindfolded sometimes not depending on need and desire.
These last drills help the practitioners develop edge awareness and to reinforce that for an edge to cut it needs pressure and movement much like for a firearm to fire it needs the trigger being pulled)

These tempering and sensitivity drills are for the serious students and for those that are action professionals and should not be attempted by the casual martial artist or those unfamiliar with knives and other edged weapons. Before working these drills a first aid kit should be near as cuts and minor stab wounds can be common amongst the more stubborn practitioners.

Warmest Regards
Brian King

And yes I too was impressed by those kids.
Bri
 

arnisador

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Interesting video!

Eh, the live blade drills make me a bit uncomfortable, even with your warning...
 

Jackal

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I wonder if one could move as readily if they abandoned all fear of the blade? Movement would then be based on decision instead of reaction. I learned recently that getting too comfortable is also possible. Either way, it still looked like a nice exercise in control. Our dances were never that cool when I was in middle school. :)
 

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